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Saturday, October 29, 2011

♥ Pumpkin Ice Cream ♥

I love pumpkin! And it doesn't get any easier than this! :)

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
Gingersnaps, optional

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin and pie spice until well blended. Stir in ice cream. Freeze until serving. Garnish with gingersnaps if desired.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

♥ Caramel Apples ♥

12 crisp apples
1 1/3 cups dark corn syrup
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Optional) sprinkles, nuts, nonpareils, chocolate, etc.


Ribbon handles: Wrap colored ribbon or raffia around wooden candy apple sticks and tie in a bow. Use two colors to create a striped effect. Secure with glue at the blunt end that won't be inserted into the apple.

Line a baking pan with a generously oiled sheet of parchment paper.

Push a candy apple stick into the core of each apple.

Combine the syrup, sugars, heavy cream, and salt in a large saucepan over medium0high heat. Simmer until the mixture reaches 270°F – about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla. Let cool for 6 to 8 minuets, until caramel thickens to a toffee-like consistency.

Dip and gently swirl the apples into the caramel and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Decorating: Dip apples in melted nonpareils. Or roll caramel-covered apples in pumpkin seeds or chopped roasted nuts, or drizzle with melted chocolate.

You can add nuts, sprinkles, or whatever you like to the apples. Let cool completely.

~~Country Living~~

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

♥ Halloween Cat Cookies ♥

1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
54 pieces candy corn
1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
Red shoestring licorice, cut into 1-3/8-inch pieces
9 thin chocolate wafer (2-1/4 inch diameter), quartered

Bake cookies according to package directions. Cool on a wire racks.

Cut off yellow tips from 18 pieces of candy corn (discard orange and white portion or save for another use). Frost cookies with chocolate frosting.

Immediately decorate with two whole candy corns for eyes, a yellow candy corn tip for nose, six licorice pieces for whiskers and two wafer quarters for ears.

Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

~~Taste of Home~~

Sunday, October 23, 2011

♥ Holiday Crafts: Halloween Pops Wreath ♥

What you need: Orange spray-paint, foam wreath form, unwrapped lollipops, glue gun, clear semigloss lacquer, orange bow, florist wire

How to:
1. Use orange spray-paint to cover foam wreath form. Let dry.

2. Trim sticks of unwrapped lollipops and attach to foam with glue gun. 3. Let dry for about 20 minutes.

4. Spray lollipop wreath with clear semigloss lacquer 3-4 times, letting dry between coats. Do not overspray, as the lollipops will melt if they are too wet.

5. When dry, attach orange bow to wreath. Hang with florist wire.

~~Taste of Home~~

Friday, October 21, 2011

♥ Almond Apple Cheesecake ♥

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter,cubed
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan; prick with a fork. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until soft but set. Cool on a wire rack.

Carefully spread jam over crust. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat just until blended. Spread over jam. For topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat. Spoon over filling. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Yield: 10 servings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

♥ Butternut Squash Layer Cake ♥

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs whites
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in squash and maple flavoring. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in walnuts. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

For frosting, in a heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, egg whites, water, cream of tartar and salt. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating over low heat until a thermometer reads 160°, about 8-10 minutes.

Pour into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; add vanilla. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

♥ Did you miss me? :) ♥

I was temporarily out of service here. Not my computer, but just me in general. I think I was getting a bit burnt out on working, and blogging, and everything. :( But we just came back from a beautiful week in Tennessee and I feel much better now. I have lots to catch up on with my blogging and I feel inspired again to get busy with beading jewelry & tea balls too!